• "I unlocked my creative side"

    Christine
  • "A fun way to spend a few hours in Chicago!"

    Mary
  • "My wife and I both had a terrific experience"

    Bryan
  • "I've always wanted to try urban sketching!"

    Katie
  • "I will practice urban sketching in the future!"

    Iris
  • "We were tourists in our own city for a day"

    Nikita
  • "Monika was personable and talented"

    Kim
  • "Monika provided a cool little paint kit, lots of tips & good company."

    Sharon
  • "Monika really inspired me to sketch on this trip."

    Caroline
  • "It's such a relaxing yet fun activity."

    Modelynn
  • "I enjoyed meeting others visiting Chicago"

    Jeff
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 03
    Create something unique
  • Urban Sketch from a guest
    Find your style!
  • Urban Sketch from a guest
    Immerse yourself in the scene
  • Urban Sketch from a guest
    Capture the city
  • Building my color palette
    I’m building our sketching palette
  • Urban Sketchers Downtown Chicago
    Relax in the shade and sketch
  • Sketching by The Bean at Millennium Park
    A great date!
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 01
    Take home something special
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 08
    Instagram ready
  • Urban Sketching downtown in the winter
    Even on the chillier days, I’m out there!
  • Urban Sketchers Downtown Apple Store Chicago
    A great way to spend a cloudy day
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 06
    This is truly yours!
  • Urban Sketch of two people sitting
    Get creative
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 02
    Sketch only what you love
  • Urban Sketching the Bean in Millennium Park
    Hang with a local artist
  • karen
    Enjoy sketching on the River Walk
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 09
    Capture your creative side
  • Urban Sketch from my AirBnb Guest 05
    Fall in love with urban sketching
  • Urban Sketching the Bean Chicago Downtown
    It’s how YOU see it
  • Urban Sketching at the Art Institute Museum Chicago
    Sketching at the Art Institute Museum
  • Urban Sketching Chicago AirBnb Experience
    Unique spots with amazing views
  • Urban Sketching Chicago
    Meet others from around the world
  • angela
    See iconic Chicago

Capture Chicago with Urban Sketching Great for couples, friends, solo travelers, or a small group

My Urban Sketching experience on AirBnb is perfect if you’re in Chicago and want a relaxing and creative break. Everything is included and no experience is necessary. We’ll explore Chicago’s urban landscape, and sketch along its iconic sights. View the city with a local, create a lasting memory, meet new people, and learn some sketching tips.

Celebrating over 1 year on AirBnb this March! Thank You!

What is Urban Sketching?

Urban Sketching means sketching on location, typically outside. We are a global community who sketch where we live and travel. We try to stay true to our scene and share our sketches with others online. Visit the official Urban Sketchers website for the history behind Urban Sketchers, more information about the annual symposium and other events local to you.

Schedule now below

Urban Sketching 2019 Calendar

Your Travel Sketch Kit

Each kit includes:

  • Watercolor journal
  • Travel palette with 6 watercolors
  • Water-brush
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • All in a canvas zip pouch

The kit is yours to keep and enjoy!

Urban Sketching Kit Included

What my guests have said:

  • "I had an excellent time with Monika. It was a perfect day, and I enjoyed both the conversation and the urban sketching experience. I'll hope to connect with Monika in the future-- she was easy to communicate with, easy to meet up with, a wealth of knowledge and, a talented watercolorist. This was a great, experience."

    Lynn Urban Sketching Chicago
    Lynn
  • "Monika is such a talented artist. She was able to share her knowledge in a supportive and encouraging way. I enjoyed my time with her and would recommend her."

    Urban Sketching in Chicago
    Lynn
  • "Monika is very patient and helped explain how to sketch and paint with water colors. I had never done it before and it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon."

    Urban Sketching Marina City
    David
  • " I discovered a new hobby and will definitely go on sketching in the future. Monika gave me great introductions and helpful tips!"

    Urban Sketching the Bean
    Ramona
  • "Monika is a good instructor!! She prepared everything you'll need on the day and guided you step by step of urban sketching!! If you're looking for something special to do for your trip, try Monika's watercolor sketching!!"

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest
    Naomi
  • Monika was a wonderful host who is passionate about urban sketching and offered her valuable perspective and expertise which is helpful for both beginner and skilled artists 🙂

    urban watercolor sketching guest usman
    Usman
  • "Monika was fun and friendly and had some great tips to share on sketching and watercolor. We had enough time to get two pieces done. I had a blast!"

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at Wrigley Building
    Angela
  • "This experience was just so good! Monika is absolutely lovely... a very nice person as well as instructor. I’m a local and this experience gave me a brilliant new perspective of the city."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Bridge house Museum
    Megha
  • "You can really get into the sketching, Monika gives really helpful tips and you see the city from another point of view."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Chicago Cultural Center
    Christina
  • "I loved the mornings sketching with Monika. I picked up some great hints on how to sketch Chicago's iconic buildings and I felt so confident I attempted one of the El. Would highly recommend this."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at Marina City
    Karen
  • "Chicago is also the great city for urban sketching, if anyone want to remember the city in a new way, I highly suggest this activity. With Monika’s help, I’ve already fallen in love with this city and urban sketching!"

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Tribune Tower
    Lydia
  • "Doing Monika's Urban Sketching class was a great way for me to experience Chicago. I loved the artist kit that was part of the class."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Tribune Tower
    Chris
  • "It was such a fun afternoon painting and exploring Chicago. Monika even showed me a nice spot with a great view overlooking the city. Def recommend for art-lovers."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at Pioneer Court
    Modelynn
  • "Monika was super nice and helpful! She gave lovely tips about how to sketch with perspective, but still gave me space to work on my own."

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Chicago River Walk
    Yifei
  • "Absolutely awesome. I got to walk another the river walk & learned a bit about watercolor & drawing buildings, though mostly I just got pulled into sketching. I loved the art kit she included. Highly recommend!"

    Urban Watercolor Sketching Experience Guest at the Chicago River Walk
    Trista

Checkout these user submitted photos

Books I’ve shared with my guests:

 

The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World I've shared so much of this book in my workshops because it shows off such versatile sketches!

Published in 2012

The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel.

Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is being practiced today. With profiles of leading practitioners and discussions of the benefits of working in this art form, this inspiring book shows how one can participate and experience this creative outlet through modern-day social networks and online activity.

You’ll find more than 600 beautiful, contemporary illustrations, as well as artists’ profiles and extended captions where these urban sketchers share their stories, how they work, sketching tips, and the tools behind each drawing.

With sketches and observations from more than 50 cities in more than 30 countries, The Art of Urban Sketching offers a visually arresting, storytelling take on urban life from different cultures and artistic styles, as well as insight into various drawing techniques and mediums.

Sketching People An Urban Sketcher’s Manual to Drawing Figures and Faces

Published in 2016

Drawing people in the outside world can be a real thrill; each sketch captures a particular person and place in time. But it can also be a challenge. How do you spot a likely subject? How do you choose the person most likely to stay still? How do you draw movement for the person that refuses to sit still? Sketching People offers straightforward, practical help to give beginning artists the confidence and ability to draw all sorts of people in many different settings. In the pages of this book, readers will find:

  • How to capture the essence of character
  • Different line-work styles
  • Techniques for creating realistic skin tones
  • The key to capturing the details of street life
  • Ways to create fabric folds
  • Mastering tonal drawings
  • Conveying age differences, and more

This clearly written, fun to read book is bursting with inspirational artwork and candid advice that will help you improve your drawing skills and change the way you sketch for the better.

Sketch Now Think Later Jump into Urban Sketching with Limited Time, Tools, and Techniques

Published in 2017

Boston-based urban artist Mike Daikubara gives beginners a crash course in location sketching that you can use in any city in Sketch Now, Think Later.

Everyone wishes they could sketch stylish scenes, but busy lives leave almost no room for sitting down with a pad and pen to practicing. Many people give up on their potential hobby (and artistic outlet) because they feel they just don’t have the time to lay the groundwork. Here’s a secret though: you do! All you need is a strategy for incorporate sketching into your daily life.

Sketch Now, Think Later covers the tools, techniques and tips that author and Urban Sketching Correspondent of Boston Mike Daikubara has developed in his more than 15 years as a practicing artist, and will show you how to fully dive into any sketching situation with limited time and tools, and still be able to produce memorable, great looking, fun sketches! 

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective Easy Techniques for Mastering Perspective Drawing on Location (Urban Sketching Handbooks)

Published in 2016

A good sketch starts with good bones.

The fourth book in the Urban Sketching Handbook series uses drawings and simple steps to explain the often challenging and overwhelming concepts of perspective in practical and useful ways for on-site sketching. Most books are either too abstract or don’t provide enough information that relates to what you actually do when you’re out in the busy, wide world about to start a drawing. Where do you start? How do you edit what you see to flatten and shrink it onto your paper? How does perspective work?

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective helps you learn to think like an architect, to draw buildings and spaces by reducing what you see to simple, basic shapes, then adding layers in simple steps, and finally finishing your sketch with detail, tone, and color–in accurate perspective. Full of helpful tips, architect and illustrator, Stephanie Bower even de-constructs sketches to show you how to create them! Once you understand perspective, it will change the way you see the world–you’ll see perspective everywhere.

Some of the key concepts explored in this volume are:

– Basic Terms
– Basic Spatial Principles
– Types of Perspective
– Building a Sketch in Layers
– Special Conditions

Urban Sketching The Complete Guide to Techniques

Published in 2014

While most sketching guides leave the artist with static bowls of fruit and flower vases to develop their skill, Urban Sketching takes its inspiration from the living, breathing world around us! Contents include the nuts and bolts of sketching and drawing as well as a range of techniques specific to this artistic genre. Readers will discover:

  • Rules on perspective that will aid inn capturing landscapes, buildings, and objects accurately
  • Tips for capturing the essence of people in sketches when subjects are on the move
  • The art of adding notes, commentary, and even speech to sketches

Chapters on sharing sketches through social media, joining the international urban sketching community, digitizing work, and more make this new guide the quintessential resource for anyone interested in joining the exciting art movement. More than 350 full-color illustrations throughout.